Daily Archives: August 20, 2013

— From Vincent Canby’s 1991 review of “Barton Fink”

davidlynch“Pardon the late sniping, but I believe ol’ Vinny Can referred to David Lynch as John Lynch in this ’91 review of Barton Fink,” Neil Barbour wrote to the New York Times on Monday. “I assume I’ll be awarded the key to the city after a catch like this.”

Sorry, Neil, but no key — or even a correction — for you!

A Times staffer’s reply:

Thanks for letting us know about this, but we only correct errors in our pages up to one year after they appear in print. This is because we run a print correction for every error that appears in our pages, with the purpose of informing readers who still remember the article in question that something erroneous was included. For older articles, no readers would remember (and on a more realistic note, we don’t have the resources or often the ability to look up something that happened 20, 50 or 100 years ago).

Best wishes,

Zach Johnk
Assistant to the Senior Editor, Standards
The New York Times

After Barbour posted this exchange on his Facebook wall, one of his friends wrote: “What’s to stop someone from fixing the story on the Web? Barton Fink’s not a hard reference to pin down. Heck, DavidJohn Lynch [sic] is even alive to ask.”

Barbour responded: “Look, the man’s name is John Lynch now. The assistant TO the senior editor of standards said so.”

He tells Romenesko readers: “I responded after they said they wouldn’t run a correction with: ‘A fine policy indeed. It does seem strange to leave it un-annotated in the archives, though? At any rate, thanks for having a look.’ But haven’t heard back since. I am more or less giving up at this point.”

* “Barton Fink” (1991), a dark comedy from Joel and Ethan Coen (
* Earlier: New York Times corrects 112-year-old error in obituary (

Jeff Bezos would do the journalism business a big favor by cutting a Washington Post-like deal for The Los Angeles Times, says J. Max Robins.

“And while he’s at it, the Amazon multi-billionaire should snap up the seven other newspapers owned by the Times’ parent, the Tribune Company.”

* Why Jeff Bezos should buy the Los Angeles Times (
* Andrew Blankstein leaves the Los Angeles Times after 23 years to join NBC News ( food editor David Holloway wrote a piece today about an event called “Girls of Fall: A Night of Food, Fashion and Football.” His lede noted that the sport “can be a confusing and often vexing concept, especially for women.”

It didn’t take long for this to spread on social media — and for the last three words to be taken out.

Holloway explains:

Posted at the end of the story:
* “Update: This story has been edited to remove incorrect and offensive assumptions about women and football. We apologize for the error in judgment.”

* Tips on how to throw the best football party in the world (

After posting all the recent media layoffs news, I present….
* Fast Company is hiring staff writers (
* BuzzFeed’s looking for an investigative journalist (
* Los Angeles Times seeks experienced reporter/bloggers (

onionThe Onion headline:
Chicago Tribune Political Cartoonist Not Sure How To Convey That Large Sack In Senator’s Hand Is Full Of Money

Chicago Tribune cartoonist Scott Stantis:
You’re wrong about that!scott1

* Cartoonist unable to convey that large sack in Senator’s hand is full of money (
* Stantis: I love that the cartoonist’s “office” is an attic with a fax machine (

I’ve been trying for a long time to get someone from NBC Peacock productions on the phone — or even respond to my emails — to give Romenesko readers an update on the newspaper reality show that got a lot of buzz in January. I haven’t had any luck, so I tweeted the above. (I’m still hoping to get details from NBC Peacock general manager Sharon Scott, who discussed the show with the New York Times last winter.)

Do you have more information on the show? Let me know.

Earlier on
* Coming soon: A reality show starring a community newspaper
* More than 70 newspapers respond to reality series casting call

From 2006:
* New York Daily News stars in a Bravo “docu-series” (

Letters to Romenesko

From MICHELLE FERRIER, associate dean at Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication: I’m trying to get the word out about a wiki of AOL/Patch sites that have been consolidated or are closing. My research looks at the media landscape, particularly newspapers and hyperlocal online news. I am examining the communities that have been shuttered by Patch for research on sustainable news models.

A one-sided serverance deal

From A PATCH EDITOR: Regarding severance for some Patch Employees “asked” to stay on until Oct. 15.

The arrangement offered by the company is completely one-sided.

The employee is required to stay until Oct. 15 during which time the company can terminate those employees for nearly any reason. If the employee is terminated before Oct. 15 or leaves for any reason, that employee will get nothing.

Make it to Oct. 15 and the employee gets 2 mos severance. They can receive an additional 2 weeks pay if they agree to sign a separation agreement and forgo certain rights that are as yet undefined.

The employees selected were not asked if they wanted to participate in this arrangement. In fact, I believe there are a number of employees like myself who would have preferred a straight severance pay for a free and clear release on Aug. 16.

Actually, it’s not a bad deal

From ANOTHER PATCHER: I am one of the editors laid off effective Oct. 15. Unless someone in HR has it in for your tipster (doubtful), he is wrong on one point. My severance letter clearly states that I will receive the payout regardless of what date Patch terminates my employment. The exception is unless they decide to retain me, or fire me for poor performance.

While I’m not crazy about them having the right to revoke the benefits and retain me if they want, I actually feel like the severance benefits are pretty generous. In addition to the money, I can also keep my health benefits until the new year, at AOL’s expense.

* Former Patch employees talk about last week’s cuts (

* “They treated me like I was a criminal or someone about to attack the U.K.,” says Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Michael Miranda. ( | Miranda threatens legal action. (
times* Media Matters founder David Brock complains to the New York Times about its coverage of the Clintons. (
* U.S. Special Operations Command seeks technology that will let it locate AM and FM radio signals in a specific area and then override those signals to send propaganda messages. (
* Of course Jeff Bezos is going to tinker with the Washington Post. (
* Thinking about writing an Open Letter to Bezos (or anyone else)? Read these first: ( | ( | h/t @CarlosLozadaWP
* Crime novelist Elmore Leonard died at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday from complications of a stroke. (
* Did sports journalist Jeff Pearlman overdo it with the F-word? (
* Amazon will start handling print and digital subscriptions for Conde Nast magazines. (
* Why the arrival of Al Jazeera America matters. (
* Where Patch went wrong, according to a journalism professor who’s an ex-Patcher. (“The company hired too many people, too quickly.”) (
* “Today” show launches a book club. (
* Podcasts that the best podcasters recommend: (
* MediaBugs calls b.s. on the claim that one-third of elementary students in Japan lick their classmates’ eyes. (

New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson tells Michael Kinsley:

* “I think that a great newspaper is one that puts a real premium on digging to get the story behind the story. I learned that back when I worked at the old Wall Street Journal, edited by Norm Pearlstine.”
* “The Sulzberger family has fought a very brave fight to show that quality journalism pays. I don’t think [Arthur Sulzberger Jr.] gets enough credit for that, personally.”

* “I get reader mail whenever I’m on television, with a few offers of elocution lessons.”

* “I think that Politico is full of interesting political reporting. And I applaud that they seem to be sending their dogged reporters out all the time to actually cover things.”

* “To me, reading the print paper is still a richer experience. …I think there is a healthy audience of readers who really like the Times in print form.”

* “I’m not someone who frequently expresses anger or acts in a high-handed way.”

* “It’s a sad thing for quality journalism to see [the Grahams] relinquishing the Post. …I think it will be very interesting, and possibly inspiring, to watch [Jeff Bezos] try to come up with solutions to questions that Don Graham in his note to Post employees said he and Katharine Weymouth did not have answers to and couldn’t come up with.”

* Interview with Jill Abramson: The future of the New York Times (

HOW TO BUILD A BETTER NEW YORK TIMES: One suggestion — “Give David Carr his own small crew, and turn them loose on an old-school New York Observer, mixing media- and entertainment-industry reporting and commentary with vaguely edgy cultural coverage. Then try the same with, say, Tara Parker-Pope and her Well blog.”

* Building a smarter New York Times (